Austin Butler to star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic has found its king of rock ‘n’ roll.

After numerous screen tests, Austin Butler has been tapped to play Elvis Presley in Luhrmann’s next feature film for Warner Bros. The studio tested with a handful of actors in full hair and make-up at the end of June to see who would join Tom Hanks, who is playing Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker.

“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in ‘The Iceman Cometh’ on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”

Luhrmann also co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce. The movie covers the relationship between the veteran manager and the young singer, who came from dirt-poor origins to become an iconic star who changed the course of music. The project marks Luhrmann’s first film since his adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He most recently worked on the Netflix series “The Get Down.”

The plan is to shoot at the top of 2020 to accommodate Hank’s schedule, which includes the upcoming Paul Greengrass movie “News of the World,” which shoots in the fall.

Butler’s recent credits include Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Jim Jarmucsch’s zombie comedy “The Dead Don’t Die.” On the small screen, he has starred on the CW’s “The Carrie Diaries,” “Switched at Birth” and “Zoey 101.”

22 PHOTOS
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler together
See Gallery
Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler together
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 10: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend "The Dead Don't Die" New York Premiere at Museum of Modern Art on June 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the 'Second Act' World Premiere at Regal Union Square Theatre, Stadium 14 on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the 'Second Act' World Premiere at Regal Union Square Theatre, Stadium 14 on December 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the Haute Living and Jaquet Droz Honoring of Vanessa Hudgens at A.O.C. on January 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Haute Living)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Volkswagen's annual Holiday Drive-In at Goya Studios on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
BUENA PARK, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm on September 28, 2018 in Buena Park, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA - AUGUST 05: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler arrive at the premiere of LD Entertainment's 'Dog Days' at Westfield Century City on August 5, 2018 in Century City, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
CENTURY CITY, CA - AUGUST 05: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the premiere of LD Entertainment's "Dog Days" at Westfield Century City on August 5, 2018 in Century City, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16: Austin Butler, Vanessa Hudgens arrives at the Stella McCartney's Autumn 2018 Collection Launch on January 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16: Austin Butler, Vanessa Hudgens arrives at the Stella McCartney's Autumn 2018 Collection Launch on January 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Actors Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler attend the 2018 InStyle and Warner Bros. 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for InStyle)
BUENA PARK, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: (L-R) Actress Vanessa Hudgens and actor Austin Butler attend Knott's Scary Farm and Instagram's Celebrity Night at Knott's Berry Farm on September 29, 2017 in Buena Park, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudges attend the 2017 Harper ICONS party at The Plaza Hotel on September 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: Actors Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler arrive on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Showtime)
BUENA PARK, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend the Knott's Scary Farm Black Carpet on September 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
BUENA PARK, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: (L-R) Actor Austin Butler and actress Vanessa Hudgens attend Knott's Scary Farm black carpet event at Knott's Berry Farm on September 30, 2016 in Buena Park, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler arrive at the 2016 InStyle And Warner Bros. 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 07: Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens attend Cloud Forest Institute hosts an evening with Ed Viesturs at Writer's Boot Camp on June 7, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Actors Vanessa Hudgens (L) and Austin Butler attend the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/VF16/WireImage)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story